Over the coarse of my life, I have engaged a great many people in political discussions. In the process of having these discussions, I have found that there is a pattern to the way a certain group of people think. In most cases, when I encounter a person from this group, I can actually predict what they will think about a given subject, or how they will respond to a given question. I can also predict that their reasoning process will exhibit certain traits. In today’s environment, this is called ‘profiling,’ and it is often dismissed as being no better than stereotyping or labeling. In fact, this is one of the traits common to the thinking of the people in the group I have in mind: they will almost always object to or reject anything they think of or consider to be stereotyping, labeling or profiling. They will not examine it, they will just dismiss it out of hand. The problem these people have is, if I can actually use this profile to predict their thinking/reactions with a high degree of accuracy, then it has value — because it is based in truth!
If we are honest with ourselves, and we actually take the time to look at the way we deal with a whole host of things, we will discover that we all use stereotypes/profiles to navigate our daily lives. Each and every one of us do this. There are no exceptions! We just don’t realize that this is what we are doing. Therefore, it would behoove us to spend a little time thinking about the stereotypes/profiles we use to help us judge others. If they are highly predictive, then hold on to them. However, if they often lead us into error, we should modify or discard them and replace them with more accurate stereotypes/profiles.
So, let’s have a discussion about this group of people I mentioned. Typically:
They tend to avoid or reject personal responsibility.
They tend to have a powerful sense of self, and of entitlement.
They tend to believe their opinion is the most obvious and the majority opinion in society.
They tend to believe their ideas are morally superior to others, and that this gives them a duty to ‘save’ people who do not understand the ‘truth’ of their beliefs.
They seldom have any reservations about the use of force against others — especially the use of force to ‘protect’ humanity from those who disagree with them.
They tend to see society in terms of groups, not individuals.
They tend to think of justice in terms of societal or group justice, not individual justice.
They tend to have no sense of fixed laws. They will change the meaning of words and laws to fit whatever their agenda is at the moment.
They usually favor government control of their daily needs and lives.
They tend to reason by feelings rather than logic and right reasoning.
They tend to think that they are reasonable and very logical.
They often claim to be supported by or believe in ‘science.’
They may claim to believe in God, but, when questioned, they tend to exhibit no allegiance to whatever god in which they claim to believe. Instead, they tend to exhibit characteristics of thinking they are their own gods.
They seldom recognize objective reality.
They tend to ignore or reject or even to re-write the historical record.
They tend to accept the face value of things. They seldom bother to dig deeper than the surface. They accept what they consider to be ‘obvious.’
They tend to lean heavily on the authority of their teachers, political leaders, media personalities and even entertainment heroes. They seldom look for or accept original source material.
They tend to ignore or not allow the beliefs of others. This often goes so far that they will tell people what they actually mean instead of letting others speak for themselves. They put words in the mouths of others.
They tend to reject anything that doesn’t agree with them or contradicts their beliefs.
They tend to get stuck in feed-back loops, where they just keep saying the same things over and over again — believing that this will somehow make that thing true.
They tend to try to control any discussion they enter. They will ask, but seldom answer questions. they will answer questions that were not asked. They will claim that others said things they did not say. In general, they will try to manipulate others to say what they think and believe, then claim that this proves they are correct.
They tend to think in individual examples. They do not have set principles or ideals to guide them. They take things case by case, which often leads them into contradictions in their thinking/beliefs.
They tend to think they can ‘speak it into existence.’ In other words, they tend to think they can change reality by believing their ideas are true.
They tend to be blind to their own contradictions. They do not engage in honest introspection.
They tend to accuse others of the things of which they are guilty.
They tend to reject any attempt to point out any of these things — often times, they will react violently.
They will almost always resort to ad hominem (name calling) attacks when they are pushed to defend their positions.
This is just a partial list of the characteristic traits I have found in this group of people. This list is just a list of those traits most often encountered. Still, these traits are almost always found in these people. By that, I do not mean this group will exhibit a few of these traits; I mean they will exhibit all but a few. Often, they will exhibit every one of them. Furthermore, once you know these traits, it becomes easy to ascertain whether or not you are dealing with one of these folks. You just ask a few pre-determined questions and watch how they respond. After a while, you will find there is a predictable pattern to them. This means my ‘profile’ is highly predictive, which means it is based in truth and, therefore, useful. I can use it to identify and help me deal with people of this particular mindset.
BTW: there are several ‘labels’ that have been assigned to the people in this group. Some of them they have even assigned to themselves. I am not going to tell you what any of these labels are. I’ll let you figure it out for yourselves. But note: if you figure it out, it is probably because you already held a similar ‘profile.’ What’s more, it is likely that a great many of the people in this group will not only recognize themselves, they will unjustly and inaccurately assign all of these things to other people — which is one of the traits I have listed 😉
AS AN ASIDE:
One of the themes that comes up almost every time I try to have a discussion with someone from the group I mentioned above is a violent reaction to being placed in this group. Even though they exhibit nearly or even all of the traits I listed, they seldom identify as being part of the group, and they never accept anyone trying to tell them they are in this group. This is very telling. It means that — on some level — they know they are part of the group and they do not like it. Which also tells us something about them. Why don’t they want to be in this group? And, if they know they are in it and do not like it, why don’t they change so they can get out of it? Why do they insist on denying the truth instead? These are honest questions, and the answers will lead you right back to the list above — like a feed-back loop 😉